I moved to Virginia Highland in 1984 and have a home, rental property and had a business in the neighborhood. My husband and I raised our two sons here and I served on PTAs for Morningside Elementary, Inman Middle and Grady High Schools. We have always been active in our neighborhood.
Our family is in the hotel business (we own the Hampton Inn Northlake Mall) and I have also been a partner in a consulting firm and an international CPA firm. I have a strong business background. I have chaired several industry and professional organizations. I recently completed a Masters degree from Georgia Tech’s School of Public Policy.
I believe that our individual involvement is what makes our neighborhood such a good place to live so I served on the VHCA Board in 2012 and 2013. I work on sidewalks and streets. This year, the City has responded to requests from us with regard to pedestrian signs, street signs, traffic lights and other maintenance items on the streets. We have also been working on a program to improve sidewalks in Virginia Highland and expect to have 227 sidewalk segments replaced by year-end with collaborative funding from VHCA, the City and property owners.
I have been a Virginia-Highland homeowner on Rosedale Road for fifteen years. I, my wife and my son, truly love our neighborhood and are committed to supporting, preserving and enhancing its character.
Since living in Virginia-Highland, I have been active with various local activities, including helping to organize block parties, street yard sales, volunteering at SummerFest and the Tour of Homes, and—at various times—working with the City, DeKalb County and other adjoining neighbors to try to remedy various rainwater and sewer-related runoff issues of concern to several homeowners on our street. I have a keen interest in preserving our unique intown neighborhood and the quality of life for all residents it provides.
In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with family, gardening, cooking, coaching my son’s soccer team and enjoying our awesome neighborhood and surrounding communities. While serving on the Board this past year, I have had the pleasure to serve on the VHCA Planning Committee and the Parks Committee. I have been involved with and participated particularly in the ongoing renovation work started prior to my time on the Board at the West end of John Howell Park (volleyball court area) and look forward to helping to manage a successful project completion in the near term.
Looking forward, I would like to focus my efforts on the Board specifically with the Parks Committee—where I would be pleased to work with the rest of the Board on other ‘parks and youth sports field-related’ improvements to the neighborhood at John Howell Park, North Highland Park, Orme Park, and potentially the Inman Middle School fields.
Ultimately, I am eager to be of service wherever needed most upon being re-elected and am always open to communication and thoughts from neighborhood residents. I appreciate your support.
I am currently on the VHCA board. I have volunteered with various organizations in Virginia-Highland since 1997. My husband, Tom Beisel, and I have lived in Virginia-Highland at 1030 N. Virginia Ave. since 1993, and are the second family to live at this address! We have a daughter who is 17 years old and has taken advantage of the amazing quality of life we all enjoy here in Virginia-Highland.
Over the years I’ve volunteered with VHMPA, VHCA History & Preservation efforts, PLAN – reporting to the City of Atlanta from Virginia-Highland as the zoning code was revised, the VHCA Planning Committee and various fundraising efforts of VHCA. Having a passion for preservation, I co-authored Images of America – Virginia–Highland history book with Karri Hobson-Pape. The Virginia-Highland History Center, while looking for a better permanent home, is housed at my offices – Tailfin Marketing. Feel free to stop by and talk history.
I hope to continue working with the planning and preservation committees helping to ensure that development in the area supports the neighborhood’s vision. Through proper planning and oversight, Virginia-Highland can represent the best Atlanta has to offer in a vibrant intown neighborhood.
I am an attorney who graduated from Emory and Georgia State Law School and has lived in this city for almost two decades. I moved to Virginia-Highland because I appreciate its great mix of homes and businesses, both of which are important. This community is unique and vibrant, and I want it to stay that way. While the Civic Association has accomplished a lot, there are even more things it can do, and I hope to be part of that.
Angelika Hedlund Taylor
Hi…I’m Angelika Taylor. My husband Joe and I moved to Virginia-Highland four years ago with our girls Ally, 16, and Kenzie, 14, to start a new life in the city! Two years ago, we welcomed a baby boy named Jack into our family.
We jumped right into Virginia-Highland headfirst. We bought a house in desperate need of love and affection. I have owned my own business as an interior designer for 14 years. Together, my husband and I run our own company, Taylor and Taylor Homes. We have a passion for renovating homes, selling them and changing neighborhood streets, one house at a time.
Our family is committed to our neighborhood and community. Our girls have both gone through Inman Middle School and are now at Grady High, and Jack attends International Pre School. We believe in shopping local and we can often be spotted at many of the restaurants, bars and shops around VaHi.
Three years ago I took on the challenge of chairing the Tour of Homes committee for the VHCA. TOH is the neighborhood’s second largest fundraiser and, since I’ve chaired the event, proceeds from the tour have grown from $15,000 to over $50,000. This year should be even better.
If elected to the VHCA board, I’d like to continue my leadership of the Tour of Homes committee, and also look forward to finding new ways to serve the residents of the community that my family and I have grown to love so much.
I have lived in the neighborhood on Virginia Circle for over a decade. A native Atlantan, I grew up in Buckhead and had little exposure to Va-Hi. I truly love our community and sometimes can’t believe how lucky I am to be a part of it. Leon, my puppy, is loving the neighborhood as well.
My professional background is marketing. I worked primarily in telecom for 10 years before following an old boss to healthcare. I’ve loved the challenges and education I’ve gained from the switch.
Though a latecomer to neighborhood volunteerism, I have really enjoyed working on the Summerfest organization committee. I became involved in many activities that I had never imagined I would, such as appearing in a TV promo and even fence building. I’ve gotten to know some great people whom I might not have met otherwise. I’ve loved every minute of it.
I look forward to continuing my involvement with Summerfest and serving on the board of the Virginia-Highland Civic Association.
In my opinion, few other communities can compare to Virginia-Highland. We live in a truly special place. I enjoy walking in the early morning with my dog and neighbor, sipping my ‘special blend’ at San Fran Coffee, celebrating with family in our parks and indulging in great meals with friends at our wide variety of fabulous options. I have lived more than 20 years (shocking!) here and could envision myself enjoying another 20 years in the future..
During the time I’ve lived here, I have been involved in a variety of volunteer activities – from Trees Atlanta plantings to Girl Scouts. Where possible, I have always worked to apply my professional experience in marketing and strategy to our neighborhood needs. About 15 years ago, my husband and I started the Virginia-Highland Summerfest Road Race, which has turned into a positive revenue generator for the neighborhood. In the last 10 years more of my time has been dedicated to the local school system, where I have served on the SPARK PTO and SPARK Local School Council.
In my consulting practice and in life, I believe that understanding the genesis of an area or organization always guides the most strategic choices. Furthermore, in every place that I have lived in my life, I have always searched to better understand who walked the land before me. In 2012, I co-authored “Images of America: Virginia-Highland” with Lola Carlisle and the help of a lot of remarkable people in our community. Through the process, I learned many beautiful stories about what ties the people of VaHi together. I care about historic preservation and making sure that these stories and memories are passed on to our next generation.
I am a mom, wife, lawyer, and community activist who has lived in Virginia Highland for 11 years. I take great pride in our neighborhood and have been an active neighborhood advocate on the BeltLine and important neighborhood issues.
I served as the Secretary of NPU-F for 7 years and have been a VHCA Board member for 3 years. My service as NPU Secretary and on the VHCA Board has allowed me to develop a deep understanding of the issues facing our neighborhood and the most effective ways to deal with those challenges. My neighbors, friends, work colleagues and fellow NPU and VHCA board members would all describe me as a “go-getter” – when I see something that needs to be improved or changed, I work hard to make it happen!
Since my election to the VHCA board in 2012, I have primarily served on the Planning Committee. In 2013-2014, I was the co-chair of the VHCA Master Plan submcommittee. The comprehensive Master Plan addresses many of the most important topics facing our community, including zoning and development, historic preservation, traffic, parks and open space, environmental issues. I look forward to serving on the Board for 2015 – 2016 term and plan to focus on implementing the Master Plan and the challenges posed by increased development in our neighborhood.
I have lived in Virginia Highland since 1995; and in our house on Lanier Boulevard since 1998. I’m an alumna of Emory University and have been in Atlanta since 1986. I hope to serve the VHCA by helping to coordinate the community effort as we begin to renovate the No. 19 Fire Station. This is such an important local resource, and many of us are committed to making sure it remains a vibrant part of our neighborhood. This is a big project; one in which the VHCA has played a central role. In my worklife, I am the Assistant Vice President of Museums, Archives & Rare Books at Kennesaw State University and the Bobby Jones Curator and Special Projects Coordinator at the Atlanta History Center. Our family is very committed to the historic fabric of this neighborhood and hope to help it continue to grow and thrive. You will see my husband, John, and daughter, Emma on a bicycle, on foot, or on a razor scooter in the neighborhood. I would be honored to serve the neighborhood with this very dedicated group of friends and colleagues.
After joining my husband in retirement in 2006, we relocated to Virginia-Highland from Gwinnett County. We arrived just in time to enjoy our first Dogwood Festival as locals, relax with our new Elmwood neighbors at the annual street party, and volunteer for, as well as have a blast at, our first Summerfest! I soon lost count of how many times we said “what took us so long to move here” while walking to local restaurants and shops. It quickly became apparent that a key component to keeping our neighborhood so vibrant is the continued contributions of volunteers organized and focused through the VHCA.
I’ve continued to volunteer for Summerfest each year in various capacities. In 2012, I began participating in fundraising for the neighborhood by creating items to sell from recycled Summerfest t-shirts. I joined the Tour of Homes committee in 2013, chairing the sponsorship sub-committee; we raised over $30,000! The tour committee is in the midst of preparing for the 2014 tour, and my sub-committee is once again on track to raise another $30,000 for the neighborhood. We are eager to show off our neighborhood during the 2014 tour, and create another great tour next year! I also look forward to expanding my participation in the VHCA by joining the board.
When my (then four-year old) daughter and I moved from Midtown to Virginia-Highland in 1984, we were the two youngest people on the half-block. If I am not now the oldest, I’m pretty close. My particular interests are planning, parks, and public resources, particularly stormwater and stream issues, a field in which I’ve worked for several decades. Our neighborhood schools that both my kids attended are pretty high on the list too.
I’m grateful for the Virginia-Highland Civic Association’s role in helping shape the history of the community. If the residents of the late 60’s and early 70’s hadn’t organized and stood together with their allies to the north and south, it’s very likely that most of us wouldn’t be living in – and might not even recognize – this neighborhood today. The idea of a huge interstate highway cleaving the Old Fourth Ward, clipping the Inman School parking lot, splitting Orme Park, and blasting through our neighborhood and Morningside seems even more preposterous in retrospect than it did then, but it almost happened.
Since then the neighborhood has flourished and matured; today we are trying to keeping the community vibrant while retaining its unique character. Three decades ago auto traffic wasn’t an issue; today the growing number of cyclists and pedestrians challenge us to find a way to safely accommodate multiple uses. Three decades ago the battles felt very uneven: it was our wits and our determination versus traditional political forces. It’s helpful that we can now afford learned professional consultants, but in the end, the determination of the citizenry and the Civic Association’s organizational capacity are still the most important assets we have. Together, they can be very effective.
I’d be glad to serve another year.
Lauren Wilkes Fralick
Lauren and her husband Frank moved to the neighborhood in 2011. They live on Highland View with their dog Abner. Lauren works in Government Relations for the Georgia Chamber of Commerce. On the weekends, you may find her working on one of the many “do it yourself” projects they have going on at their home.
Lauren has been a board member for two years and has been a driving force on the Parks Committee. Lauren looks forward to another year serving the neighborhood.
For about the last three years – even before officially moving in – I have been active with the neighborhood Civic Association, primarily through the VHCA Planning and the Master Plan creation process. My role in that process was to keep everything on the rails: organizing and communicating the public meeting schedule, sharing information and clarifying inaccuracies, coordinating the steering committee, and feeling out consensus every step of the way.
Since the Master Plan was adopted by council, I have been focusing on the implementation of the highest priority items outlined in the Master Plan. This has involved follow up with various city departments and nonprofits. I’m excited to be part of a vibrant urban community with a rich diversity of residents and incredible history. Currently I’m also serving as ambassador between the neighborhood and Atlanta Bicycle Coalition for the Atlanta Streets Alive event in September.
In terms of style, I have a diplomatic approach, a true desire to contribute, and would appreciate the opportunity to serve the neighborhood. I’d like to continue to be involved on the board so that I can support the neighborhood with broad initiatives, from master planning to fundraising for our parks. Having served on the Planning Committee, I understand the time, patience, and dedication needed to create positive changes that keep the neighborhood vibrant. Change is inevitable and the desirability of VaHi is only going to grow. I’d like to be on the board to ensure the character and quality of life in Virginia-Highland continues to get better each year.